Wappingers Board Of Education Says “NO” to New Name at School
The Board of Education denied the name change at Roy C. Ketcham High School citing "racial overtones."
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of confusion for the student body at the second-largest high school in the Wappingers Central School District. Earlier this week we told you that the student body at Roy C. Ketcham High School was given the opportunity to vote on the school's new mascot/nickname. The high school was one of the last schools in New York to drop "Indians" as its mascot after the term was deemed racially insensitive.
Ketcham's New Mascot is?
After school officials decided to drop "Indians" they announced that they would be making a name change by the end of the year by giving the student council at the school the chance to come up with 3 new names. After the student council came up with 3, they gave the 1600+ students at the school the option to vote on the name they would like to see the school use in the future. The three options were:
After the vote was completed the final choice needed to be submitted to the Wappingers Board of Education (BOE) for final approval.
We told you earlier this week that the vote was completed and the students picked Knights as the new nickname/mascot. So Ketcham Knights it is, right? Not so fast!! The Knight's name was submitted to the BOE and yesterday they announced that they have denied the name change.
Wappingers Board of Education Denies Name Change
In a letter sent out to district parents the President of the BOE John Lumia said that the new name Knight's "adheres to all the legal requirements by the Commissioner of Education, as well as the Mascot Discontinuance Regulations approved by the Board of Regents on April 18, 2023." He also said that the district's legal team approved all the names that were submitted, BUT the name change to Knights has been DENIED!
"Several trustees voiced concerns that there could be racial overtones associated with the name and therefore voted against it. As President of the Board of Education, I am disappointed that the student and staff choice was not approved."
What Happens Next?
Lumia said that he's hopeful that the BOE can work together to resolve the issue as soon as possible saying,
"We will work together to resolve the issue so we can focus more time and energy on topics to help improve our students education."
School officials haven't said what the next step is but when they announce plans we will update this article.
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